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Like this article? We recommend Mistake 5: Two Is Always Better

Mistake 5: Two Is Always Better

Angela inherited a project from another team leader who unexpectedly left the company. As a good team leader, she began by reviewing everything she could find about the project. During the review process, one thing became clear: Many project pieces were under the control of the previous team leader, who had reserved these items and didn't let anyone else have access.

The due date for the project was looming, and the previous team leader was unavailable. Angela panicked. Not unexpectedly, many of the items were re-created from scratch. The project was delivered to the client late.

The moral of this story is that there's no I in team. You've probably heard that expression, but did you take it to heart? How often do teams have bits and pieces of the project under the control of one person? If that person leaves the company, is hit by a train, or is unavailable for some other reason, that piece of the project becomes unavailable as well.

Always exercise the two-person rule for your project. Absolutely every project element should have a primary and an alternate holder. Make sure that you also place project information in a place where any responsible party, such as the company owner, can access it if both the primary and secondary contacts become unavailable.

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